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Showing posts from February, 2014

My Kingdom in the Snow: Yamagata Prefecture

I have been to Yamagata a half a dozen times in the last half decade.   Maybe I was in search of The Promise Land, you know the story  mentioned in the Bible...   No.  Scratch that.  All of Japan is the Promise Land.   Too grandeur a statement, you say?  Ok.  All BS aside there's a reason I keep coming back again and again.  Here.  Here.  Here. Here. Here. Here.Here. Here Here.Here.Here
Here Here.

I would never refuse an invitation from a fellow sake lover, either.   It's my duty to sample as many and as much rice brew as possible before I die, but that is not my only duty though.    For years I have been sampling some of Japan's greatest natural hot spas, which many regard as a preserve of the rich.   Samurai didn't bathe in such mineral hot springs, extravagance is not a samurai quality.  Only lady boys and concubines used to enjoy such respite.   Long gone are such notions in our day and age, though.   Men want to look more supple too,  I suppose.   I guess like with…

My Snow Kingdom: Akita

I was invited to go to Akita by some old friends I met in Sendai a few years ago.   It’s been a year since the last time we met.   I am the soul of Japan, for those who do not know and what that means is that I preach of this nations many wonders and virtues through three core ideas.

( " principles:  nihonshu, natural hot spas, and Jukujo.   I count food in with nihonshu because the two are inseparable").

Arriving in Sendai, I changed trains heading to Kuromatsu Station where I met a three car convoy of sake drinkers - old friends.    Six men and six Jukujo!  Love was in the air.   We commanded three SUVs across miles and miles of Tundra, through pristine valleys and lowlands, across frozen lakes and icy plateaus.    Ravines steamed down through snowed over rice fields half frozen and timelessly beautiful.   This only confirmed that we had reached Akita in break neck speed.   Heaven bound.    

In the bottom picture you can see a mountain in the background.  It’s called Chokk…